I love early morning rides (apart from the waking up at the crack of dawn part). The sun throws its morning light over the paddocks, the horses are eating quietly... and the arena is free. Jack was on fire this morning and it was wonderful. Even the cold air biting my face couldn't wipe my smile away. As soon as I was on him, he was walking out with big strides. He usually plods along like an old cart horse when I first get on, not your typical hot thoroughbred behaviour, but its how he is. He broke out into a beautiful, ground eating trot when we reached the hill below the arena. It was forward and his strides were long. His first trot normally is a short, choppy affair but Jack was showing his dressage potential... and this was all before we actually got into the arena.
I didn't want the amazing trot to end, so I trotted him straight into the arena and we went to work. (We had walked a good 5 minutes from his paddock before this in case you were wondering). We did serpentines, figure 8's, transitions and straight lines all over the place and he rocked. On the bit and light in my hands, he was showing me what he can do. Since his trot work was going so well, I moved onto the canter. He's been having trouble with his left lead recently, I think it was because I was acting more like a passanger then a rider. Instead of giving him clear aids about what lead I wanted, I would just ask him to canter. So today, I made sure I was VERY clear about the lead I wanted and he got the correct one everytime. We practiced simple changes on the diagonal too. We will be doing test A4 in the trial and last time we did this test, our change was terrible and dropped our marks down a lot. He did really well today and was quick and precise with his transitions.
After about 45 minutes he started getting lazy and falling behind my leg. Since I didn't have a whip with me, I had to give him a good couple of kicks to keep him moving forward. Once I got a nice forward trot I asked for a walk and then cooled down. I will have to get moving on that conditioning program... he looks like hes going to need it.